A historic Mediterranean-style hotel perched over the Southern California coastline.
If you're seeking a beach hotel because you truly enjoy the ocean lifestyle, then this Laguna Beach favorite is for you. It's literally right on the sand, so much so that at high tide the waves splash against the building. History buffs will be interested to know that the hotel served as headquarters for the White House Press Corps whenever President Richard Nixon was vacationing at his “Western White House” in nearby San Clemente, which helped transform Laguna from hidden gem to world-class destination. The guest rooms are light, airy and fresh, which makes sense considering the perpetual presence of ocean breezes that waft through the space. The only thing separating guests from the sand and water is a very short elevator ride. Details such as iPod docks, cotton robes and private beachfront terraces with windproof candles contribute to the boutique atmosphere. When not enjoying pampering treatments at the Aquaterra Spa, guests unwind at the surfside Splashes Restaurant, a venue that could potentially live up to its name if you sit on the patio during high tide.